Joe Biden won’t face criminal charges over the handling of classified documents, after the president portrayed himself as an “elderly man with a poor memory”, said the special counsel.
But Robert Hur said Mr Biden’s actions “present serious risks to national security” after he concluded the president had “wilfully retained and disclosed classified materials”.
“We have considered that, at trial, Mr Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview of him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory,” he wrote.
Mr Biden welcomed the decision, adding he “cooperated completely” and agreed to five hours of in-person interviews even over the two days following Hamas’s attack on Israel on 7 October.
Richard Sauber, special counsel to the president, said mistakes when packing documents while leaving office are “unfortunately a common occurrence” and happened with every administration for the past 50 years.
But he added they disagree with “a number of inaccurate and inappropriate comments” in the special counsel’s report.
The report could embarrass Mr Biden, 81, amid criticism he is too old to serve another four-year term – having also tried to draw a contrast with Donald Trump on personal ethics and national security.
Mr Hur wrote that his memory was “significantly limited” when he was interviewed by members of his prosecution team.
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